Langley wins at QPA to lead series 3-2

by Paul Horn

Here‘s a hot tip for Game 6; bet the under.

For the second game in a row, the defence was the story in the WLA Finals as Game 5 ended with a combined 10 goals, lower than either team‘s usual scoring average.  And for the second game in a row, Langley would emerge the victor.  Unlike games three and four, no overtime would be needed, but Langley would accomplish the seemingly impossible by shutting New Westminster out for the final 20 minutes.

Langley has been the faster team out of the gate for most of their postseason games and that was true tonight as well. Curtis Dickson opened things at 3 minutes, and Robert Church would contribute another with a weaving charge at the net at 11:37. Two minutes later, New Westminster’s Kevin Crowley would collect a juicy rebound on the crease and sink it while the Langley netminder struggled to get back in position. That was it for scoring in the first 20 minutes. We ended the frame with Langley holding a slim 2-1 lead.

New Westminster came out strong in the second period, getting early goals from Keegan Bal and then taking the lead on a goal from Mitch Jones. A slashing call against Drew Belgrave at about nine minutes offered Langley an opportunity to catch up and that’s just what they did, scoring the only power-play goal of the game, a snipe from Curtis Dickson. Robert Church’s second goal of the night would follow soon after, giving Langley the lead again. Soon after, Will Malcom found just enough room on the low left side and was able to make a toe drag to the crease that led to a tying goal. After 40 minutes, the game was squared up at four each.

Once again, the game had been shrunken from 60 minutes to 20 minutes. Despite the fact the Bellies had two power-plays in the frame and the absence of Connor Robinson (who had taken the worst of late second period collision), the Fish could not solve the Langley defence. The boys went scoreless over the last 27 minutes, but Langley managed two more. Nathaniel Kozevnikov had been held to just one goal over these playoffs, but he found himself in the catbird seat on a beautiful pass that led to his second of the postseason and the game winner. Curtis Dickson’s second of the night provided the insurance at 9:26.

From that point on the only person scoring in the building was the 50/50 winner.  The final score was 6–4 in Langley’s favour, giving them a 3–2 edge in the finals.

The three stars for the night were Robert Church (1st with 2-3-5), Frank Scigliano (2nd with an 89.5% save average) and Mitch Jones (3rd, 1-2-3). Curtis Dickson was the only other multI-goal scorer with 2 goals. The Bellies saw singles from Jones, Bal, Crowley and Malcom.  Higgins faced more rubber than Scigliano, emerging with an 88.5% average.

Game 6 will go Saturday night in Langley. A Bellies win will mean a Game 7 at QPA on Tuesday.

The Bellies are proudly sponsored by Stonehaus Realty.